Virus or Spyware has hidden/deleted my files
Some of the more recent strains of fake Anti Spyware software have started to hide peoples documents, program files and desktop icons. This is an attempt to convince you that you have some kind of hard disk error that has caused it. It gives the software more legitamacy and will encourage you to pay for this bogus software. Once you have got rid of the spyware thats plaging your computer we can go ahead and unhide the files and icons that have disappeared.
Below are three different methods to unhide your files and folders. Upto you which one you choose:
- Option 1 : Manually Unhide your files and Folders
- Option 2 : Remove the +H attribute using third party software.
- Option 3 : Remove the +H attribute using windows command prompt.
Option 1: Manually Unhide your files and Folders
First you need to beable to see the folders. Below shows you how to make hidden files visable when looking at "My Computer"
- Click the Windows Icon then Computer
- Click "Organise"
- Click "Folder and Search Options"
- Click the "Vie" Tab
- Put bullet point in show hidden files, folders and drives.
- Click Ok (see Image below)
Once you have done this the hidden folders should appear whenever you are browsing your computer / harddrives etc. next you need to actually make them visable to all other programs and process :
- Click the Windows Icon then Computer
- Then the C: local disk Right Click the folder thats hidden. then click Properties
- Under attributes at the bottom you will see a box with a tick in it next to hidden. Untick the box.
- Select include folders and sub folders. click ok.
- This will then unhide all the items in the folder and all the subfolders within it. (see image below)
Option 2 : Removing the +H attribute set by the rogue scamware. Third Party Software
If you do not feel comfortable with the above method you can download a program called unhide from bleeping computer to do a similar job. Click Below for the download.
Note : If your computer is not allowing you to run executable files, instead asking for what program do you wish to open it with. Your exe extension has been altered by the virus causing it not to work. You will need to reset your default file assocations (windows 7)
Option 3 : Removing the +H attribute using windows command prompt.
If this infection has hidden all your program files,system files and icons. You will need to unhide them again by taking off the +H attribute. To do this for your whole disk please do the following :
- Click the windows or start button.
- In the Run/Search box type cmd
- A Black Window will appear with white writing. Then type the following
- c: then press enter (just incase you are not on the correct drive)
- Then type cd \ and then press enter. This will take you to the root of c:
Below are few options - remove hidden attributes from users folders so icons on desktops, start menus etc or remove +h from the whole disk.
- If you wish to remove the hidden attribute from just the users folder type cd users press <enter> then type attrib -h /s /d and press <enter>
- If you wish to remove the hidden attribute from all users start menu (this is for windows 7 as start menu location different) type cd \programdata\microsoft\windows\start menu\ then press <enter>. Type attrib -h /s /d and press <enter>
- If you wish to do the whole computer just type the following attrib -h /s /d and press <enter>
- This may take some time and you will see lots of text going up the screen. This is the computer checking each file for that attribute and removing it if it exists.
- Once finished reboot the computer and see if your files have come back.
What do you do if your program menu shortcuts are still empty when you have unhidden all the files and folders?
If you find you are still missing shortcuts after removing spyware and unhiding all the files. You may actually have found its deleted them/moved them and not hidden them. First of all search the computer for icons you know are missing. See if you can track down whether is moved them all. If you cant find them. My suggestion is to run System Restore back to a point before the infection occurred. This will recreate all the menu structure at that time.
Hope this page helps !
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